Politics

Political news from New Hampshire Public Radio, from the State House to the First in the Nation Primary.

Third of three parts

The man who's expected to become China's president next year, Xi Jinping, is considered a princeling, the son of a prominent Chinese political figure. But the man who's likely to become premier, Li Keqiang, comes from very different stock.

The son of a minor party official, Li worked as a farmer for four years, before studying law at university.

The military-backed government of Myanmar, also known as Burma, has surprised many skeptics with the pace of its political reforms — releasing political prisoners, easing censorship and making peace with ethnic insurgents.

But none of these reforms have won it as much praise as its efforts to mend fences with opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. After nearly two decades under house arrest, Suu Kyi is now aiming to work for democracy within the system by running for a seat in parliament.

Syrian troops have fired rockets and mortars at neighborhoods in the city of Homs that have most fiercely resisted the government throughout the uprising.

Mainstream journalists are barred from entering Homs, so a team of activists decided to record the offensive themselves. The activists positioned their cameras atop buildings in the city. Each morning the view is blue sky, a minaret, a sea of rooftops. Then come the booms.

The Egyptian government has further escalated tensions with Washington by accusing U.S. officials of directly funding nonprofit groups to create chaos in the Arab country.

The latest comments were made by an Egyptian Cabinet member to prosecutors conducting a criminal probe into the activities of 43 aid workers, many of them American.

Such claims anger U.S. officials, who have threatened to hold back more than $1 billion in military aid if the crackdown on private, pro-democracy organizations doesn't end.

The Senegalese are known for campaigning loudly, musically and enthusiastically, yet the country's reputation for democracy and stability in turbulent West Africa has taken a knock as it prepares for elections on Feb. 26.

When Senegal's top court gave its blessing last month to President Abdoulaye Wade's third-term ambitions, his opponents angrily took to the streets to demonstrate their disapproval.

Senegal was tense as police clashed with protesters demanding that the president withdraw his candidacy.

Mitt Romney Edges Ron Paul For Maine Victory

Feb 12, 2012

Stung by a series of defeats earlier this week, Mitt Romney got a much-needed boost Saturday with a win in the straw poll of the Conservative Political Action Conference and a victory in Maine's nonbinding caucuses.

Yet Romney walked away without delegates and tallied fewer votes there than he did four years ago. This time, he barely beat rival Ron Paul.

Flikr Creative Commons/ evmaiden

The New Hampshire House voted to put off making a final decision on a pair of bills that would withdraw the state from No Child Left Behind, and forego $61.6 million dollars in federal funding.

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt from Salem cited the lost money as he urged collegues to table the bills.

"There are significant and justifiable concerns about withdrawing from this program," Bettencourt said, "concerns regarding the potential loss of significant federal funds currently being received by our local school districts."

Josh Rogers, NHPR

 

Former Barrington state Sen. Jackie Cilley stressed her blue collar roots has she kicked off her campaign at the Manchester YWCA. Cilley recalled growing up in a tenement and taking a job at the Waubec mill before heading to college and going on to teach at UNH’s Whittemore School of Business. Cilley said she believes in compromise, but said she won’t stand for what she called attacks on education, workers, women and gays being made by “The Free State/Tea Party/John Birch politicians in Concord.” Cilley also she won’t be taking a pledge to veto a sales or income tax.

Flikr Creative Commons

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is currently awash in education bills, many of which will never see the light of day. However, some of these bills are setting the stage for big discussions about public schools, the role of the state, and the rights of parents.

To help sort through the confusion, the following is a roundup of bills coming before the House between now and Crossover day.

The Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints will no doubt face intense scrutiny if Mitt Romney becomes the GOP's candidate for President. A few months back, we reported on the LDS campaign to rebrand- the church, with a series of ads depicting stereotype-busting people introducing themselves as Mormons…

Photo by ALA, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Jamal Joseph’s story is unlike many taught in schools during Black History Month. His long list of identifiers includes orphan, activist, FBI fugitive, convict, a drug addict, urban guerilla, and Black Panther. In a speech he made in the 1960s, Jamal urged students to burn down Columbia University. He is now a professor there and a writer, filmmaker, Oscar nominee, youth advocate, drug counselor, and father.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's decisive win over former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Florida returned him to the front-runner's spot in the Republican presidential race. Romney emerged from that battle with his strengths, but also his weaknesses, on full display.

Sometimes hard-fought nominating contests produce a more formidable general-election candidate. That's what happened to Barack Obama in 2008. But Dan Schnur, a former Republican strategist, thinks it's too soon to tell if this Republican primary battle will have the same effect.

The Republican presidential campaign has provided the first test of the Supreme Court’s “Citizens’ United” decision which allowed outside groups to spend millions on campaigns. While some decry their power, others say they represent free-and-democratic speech.  We’ll look at this issue and new information on who’s providing Super-Pac dollars.  

Guests

A busy day at the statehouse today - House lawmakers voted to send money to the  "rainy day fund," and on a raft of other bills. The State Senate, meanwhile, passed a redistricting map and unveiled what Senate President Peter Bragdon called a bipartisan education funding constitutional amendment.

NHPR's Josh Rogers joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson to discuss the day's action.

In his final address, Governor John Lynch looked back at his legacy as much as he did look forward, but Lynch did underline some key points.  He promised to veto expanded gambling, warned Northern Pass supporters to tread lightly and encouraged a constitutional amendment on education funding. We’ll talk about the speech, play back parts of it and get your thoughts as well.  

Guests

With his lopsided win in Florida, Mitt Romney displayed nearly all the skills and talents a front-runner might need.

He was able to decimate his leading opponent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, through a series of disciplined and sustained attacks, and he had the organizational capacity to press every tactical advantage.

The only thing he failed to do, some critics maintain, was present a convincing case that he's the best possible Republican candidate to take on President Obama.

As the Republican candidates were rallying their supporters in Florida on Tuesday night, their campaigns were quietly sending disclosure reports to the Federal Election Commission in Washington. The big picture: Mitt Romney had more money than Newt Gingrich. President Obama had more than either of them. And a few of the new superPACs filed donor lists filled with high rollers.

Tuesday's disclosures run only through Dec. 31 but still reveal some essential truths.

With his impressive Florida win on Tuesday, Mitt Romney has re-established himself as the clear front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. But he continues to face fervent opposition from some quarters, and a number of hurdles remain before he can claim the nomination.

Romney took just over 46 percent of the vote, while second-place finisher Newt Gingrich had nearly 32 percent.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum had about 13 percent, with Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 7 percent.

Today marked Governor John Lynch's last State of the State address. And, as one might expect during a slow trudge toward recovery, the bulk of Lynch focused either directly or indirectly on the economy.

NHPR brings you live NPR coverage Tuesday night from the Florida primary.

Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish will host live coverage, which will begin at 8 p.m., when the last polls close, and run until 10 p.m.

Coverage will feature candidate speeches, interviews, and expert analysis from NPR Contributors E.J. Dionne (The Washington Post) and Matthew Continetti (The Weekly Standard), along with polling insights from The Pew Center’s Andrew Kohut.  We’ll also hear from NPR’s Mara Liasson and Ron Elving.

Gov. John Lynch gives his final state of the state address to the House and Senate. Read the transcript of the  live tweets from the Statehouse below:

 

NHPRNews NHPR News 

That's all for our live coverage! Check with NHPR and NHPR.orgthis afternoon for more coverage and analysis. #nhsots

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

Education

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch told lawmakers of the need for a constitutional amendment for education funding during his state of the state address.

He says the state needs more flexibility to direct more aid to communities and children with the greatest need.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

State of the State Address - Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Opening

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Senate President, Madam Chief Justice and members of the judiciary, honorable members of the Executive Council, House and Senate, and my fellow citizens of New Hampshire:

Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Gov. Lynch will deliver his final state of the state address to the House and Senate on Tuesday, Jan 31.  He announced in September of 2011 that he would not seek a fifth term.

NHPR and NHPR.org will carry this speech live from the Statehouse at 11 a.m.

White House Brings Manufacturing Pitch to NH

Jan 26, 2012

The White House is on the road to win public support for its economic policies.  President Obama was in Iowa and Arizona yesterday.  Today, Vice President Biden visited a manufacturing plant in Rochester. The vice president described what the administration means when it says it wants to give everyone a fair shot at the American dream.

Vice President Biden spoke at Albany Engineered Composites, a company that has been expanding on the Seacoast.  That trend fit well with one of Biden’s roles, that of cheer leader for the productivity of American workers.

As the New Hampshire legislature begins whittling down a bevy of economy-related bills, we thought it would be helpful to offer you a brief, on-going roundup of what we believe are some key economic issues the General Court will be looking at, and why. We've also included resources if you'd like to research and track these issues on your own, or get in touch with the governor or your legislator.

Biden Presses for Manufacturing Jobs

Jan 26, 2012

Vice President Joe Biden visited a Rochester manufacturing plant to tout the administration’s economic policies.  Biden was upbeat, saying America is in the best position to continue to be the dominant economic power in the 21st century.

Speaking at Albany Engineered Composites, the vice president said the country should change tax law to reward companies that bring jobs home from overseas operations.

The big story of the day is, of course, President Obama's State of the Union address last night. Since the speech wrapped, analysis from politicos, pundits, and wonks has been pretty much non-stop.

Tonight, President Obama is set to deliver the final state of the union address of his first term. Morning Edition's Renee Montagne spoke to White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe for a preview of the president's speech.

After Newt Gingrich's bravura performance in the final South Carolina debate and his drubbing of Mitt Romney on primary day, the former speaker's challenge in Monday night's debate in Tampa, Fla., was to maintain if not increase his momentum eight days before the Florida Republican presidential primary.

Meanwhile, Romney's challenge was to give his supporters who were shell-shocked by the Palmetto State results reasons to believe he had it in him to turn it around, to stand to do what needed to be done to beat Gingrich in Florida.

Pages